It was the greatest comeback win of the season for the Bethel College women’s basketball team Wednesday in a 64-61 win over Southwestern in the KCAC opener for both teams at Thresher Gym.
It was the only comeback win of the year for the team so far.
Josie Calzonetti hit a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left in regulation for the game-winner.
“I can’t even put it into words,” Calzonetti said. “Kendall Michalski, our point guard, put it in my hands. The coach told her to turn the corner and take the shot if she had it, or dump it off if she didn’t. She got it to me. It’s a big credit to her to get it to me. It was a lucky shot.”
The sophomore from Garden City finished with a career high 21 points and led the team in rebounds with six. She hit four of six 3-point shots.
Freshman Brielle Hampton led the team in scoring with 25 points. Both had career-high scoring nights.
“It was the drive to just overcome everything that went wrong in the past quarters,” Hampton said. “We got down on ourselves and we picked it up. We have been working really hard in practice. We deserve it.”
Hampton came to Bethel from Garland, Texas.
“Coach Drew was a big reason why I came here,” Hampton said. “He really cares for you as a person, as well as the rest of the coaching staff — not just as a player.”
“They were both really good tonight,” Johnson said. “Credit Brielle. We put the ball in her hands late, and she made plays. Josie put in an unbelievable amount of time. No one deserves it more than she did. … You can’t be happier for a kid who’s put in a ton of time.”
Bethel lost leading scorer and rebounder Abby Schmidt to fouls midway in the fourth quarter. She was held to five points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
“We have to credit the other team,” Calzonetti said. “They knew our strengths and they knew Abby is a big part of our game leadership-wise. She was frustrated and the team was frustrated. But when she went off, she was a big motivator on the bench. It was still nice that we could still come together as a team.”
Ashley Carrillo led Southwestern with 15 points off the bench. Claren McCormick scored 12 and Jazmyne Laskey scored 11.
Bethel was six of 10 from the field in the first quarter and seven of 15 in the fourth quarter, but was 22 of 50 for the game. Southwestern was four of 15 from the field in the fourth quarter.
“Shooting comes and goes, that’s why defense is so important to us,” Johnson said. “There are some things we need to continually get better at defensively. I thought we finally buckled down and held them to 13 in the fourth quarter. That’s what makes or breaks every group. We’re talented enough to make shots. We’re going to have to continue to learn to battle on defensive end. … Credit Southwestern. They have some talented players. They have a ton of seniors. They came in here and never backed down to us.”
Bethel led by as many as nine in the first quarter, but Southwestern cut that to five at the end of the period, 17-12, and scored the first four points of the second period.
The Moundbuilders took a brief, one-point lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter, but Bethel got back out by three. Bethel led by one at the half, 27-26.
Bethel trailed by as many as eight in the third quarter and kept it at the end of the period, 48-40.
After one of two Moundbuilder free throws to start the fourth quarter, Bethel came back with treys for Kelsi Fitzgerald and Hampton.
Southwestern came back with a 5-0 run, answered by Bethel. Carrillo hit one of two free throws with 2:15 to play to put the Moundbuilders up by five. Calzonetti hit a trey with 2:01 in regulation to get Bethel within two. Carrillo then hit one of two free throws.
Hampton hit a three-point play with 1:25 left to tie the game. Bethel got two stops.
After another Hampton basket, Carrillo hit a basket to tie with 15.4 seconds to play.
Bethel plays an exhibition at 7 p.m. against NCAA Division II Washburn at Lee Arena in Topeka, followed by Saint Mary at 6 p.m. Saturday in Leavenworth.
“That’s what a young team’s going to learn is that it’s never easy,” Johnson said. “If it’s Saint Mary on the road or someone here. We’ve been using the word urgency the last couple of days after that Hastings game.”
SOUTHWESTERN (3-2, 0-1 KCAC) — Brittany Lawler 1-6 0-0 3, Claren McCormick 5-8 2-2 12, Makala Canada 4-9 0-0 8, Marissa Evans 1-5 4-6 6, Jazmyne Laskey 5-10 1-2 11, Ashley Carrillo 5-7 5-10 15, Charon Cheatham 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Webb 2-10 1-2 6. TOTALS 23-57 13-22 61.
BETHEL (3-2, 1-0 KCAC) — Tierra Powell 0-1 0-0 0, Brielle Hampton 9-20 5-9 25, Lindsey Heim 1-2 0-0 2, Josie Calzonetti 7-13 3-5 21, Kelsi Fitzgerald 2-8 2-2 7, Kendall Michalski 0-2 2-4 2, Lena Driscoll 0-0 0-0 0, Kayla Newman 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Schmidt 2-3 1-2 5, Sydney Tenant 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS 22-50 13-22 64.
Total fouls — SC 21, BC 23. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — SC: Laskey :30.6-q. BC: Schmidt 5:07-4q. 3-point shooting — SC 2-18 (Lawler 1-3, Canada 0-1, Evans 0-2, Laskey 0-3, Cheatham 0-2, Webb 1-7), BC 7-20 (Hampton 2-7, Calzonetti 4-6, Fitzgerald 1-5, Michalski 0-2). Rebounds — SC 32 (Laskey 7), BC 25 (Calzonetti 6). Assists — SC 13 (Laskey 8), BC 11 (Heim 3, Michalski 3). Turnovers — SC 17 (Laskey 4, Lawler 4), BC 20 (Hampton 4, Calzonetti 4). Blocked shots — SC 1 (Carrillo 1), BC 2 (Schmidt 2). Steals — SC 9 (Lawler 6), BC 4 (Fitzgerald 2).